order confirmation transactional email examples

How to pick the right email template for your business

Are you starting out with email marketing or rather revamping your strategy? Choosing the right email templates is a big deal, it directly influences your email marketing results and effectiveness

So how to pick the right email template for your business? Here is a mini-guide on selecting the right email template that fits perfectly with your marketing efforts. The best place to start is to define the most important communication types and after that choose the template.

You could go with a lot of different individual email templates, each with their own purpose. Or you could use an email master template and use that to create a couple of variations.

Having an amazing email template will save you a lot of time and money. Research shows that  creating an email campaign can take more than a full week in most cases.

email production branding stats

So, let’s get started and learn how to choose the right email templates for your business.

Selecting your email template – step one

Every business runs multiple marketing campaigns, often simultaneously. Your templates need to adapt to that. So we’ll have to look at the types of emails you will send.

The purpose of the email impacts the email template selection process.For some the aesthetic appeal and slick design is more important than others. We also want support for advanced features like interactivity.

Smart marketers also base their communication on segmentation, like different markets and brands served, and individual contact preferences. You can start from scratch or take one of the many free email newsletter templates are as inspiration. There are plenty of them – and typically high quality.

So let’s have a look at the common types of email communication that can be templated.

The 5 must have kind of Email Templates

1 . Cart Abandonment and cart reminder email templates

Cart abandonment emails are the most popular email types in ecommerce. They help you plug that leak in your marketing funnel. Customers are just not completing all of their purchases, a nice follow up will do the trick and get some back to completing their purchase.

Abandoned cart series
Most effective abandoned cart emails are in a well-timed series of two to three. Send the first email one hour after the cart was abandoned. You can send the next two after 24 hours and three days of the initial abandoned purchase.

Often one template will be perfectly fine. But that depends on your type of reminders that go out. 

In the following abandoned cart template, they have added the image of the abandoned product above the fold. The next section of the email has additional relevant product recommendations.

abandonned cart examples wayfair

It is smart to include the product in your emails. So the template needs to be flexible enough to handle that dynamic data. Is there an image? But what if a product has no image or multiple? Your template needs to be able to have fallbacks and selection criteria.

Remind the users of the product they were about to purchase and also entice them to check out other relevant products. 

2. Use promotional HTML email templates to bump your sales

Promotional email templates are sales-oriented. You can find countless examples of sales emails. Because, as they say in business: Selling comes standard.

Next to a straightforward product promotion or catalogue email, you can use promotional email templates to upsell, cross-sell, downsell and recommend related products.

There are several factors to consider while designing email templates with a sales goal. We need to keep in mind past purchases, order value, and the preferred purchase category. Does the design need to adapt based on category? Is the order or more products? Do you highlight certain parts of the email and use hero images?

When it comes to promotional emails, Uncommon Goods is one of my favorite brands.

In this promotional email example they highlighted the brand new bestsellers and new arrivals.

brand new emailmarketing example template

The visuals are attractive and draw the subscriber’s attention. The mix of color and design is really pleasing to the eye. It’s always a good idea to design this type of email with the real (examples) of the product images in there, not stock images or placeholders. That way you can directly see how the email design will look in real life.

3. Newsletter email templates to share regular updates

Every company is a publisher nowadays. A templated newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your subscribers, inform them about new features, events, and company news. You can also send curated content to the users in the newsletter. Yes, not all newsletter content needs to be your own writing.

Content Marketing Institute sends a well-designed newsletter template with different CTAs to encourage people to read their resources. 

email template content brand templates

Just think about the different elements you will include in your typical newsletter, and the newsletter template design that goes along with these. 

A newsletter can include: 

  • A curation of the best content resources
  • New product announcements
  • Industry news
  • Popular case studies
  • How-to guides, downloads
  • Offers and discounts
  • Agenda of upcoming events 
  • Interviews with industry experts

Each of those elements or “content blocks” deserves their own design, with a stable drag and drop email editor, you’ll be able to use and re-use those block as you wish. Good to think about them beforehand and start strong! 

4. Win trust by sending social proof emails

The social proof email category includes messages asking for reviews, feedback, and testimonials. Social proof email templates need to be brief and intuitive. You want to motivate the recipient to convert, leave a review, etc.

In return for their effort a follow up mail (thank you for your review, here is our incentive) makes sense. Including reviews and social proof in your promotional messages is also a great idea. .

email template design social- proof tradegeko


See how TradeGecko has sent out a simple, yet engaging feedback email template. The persuasive copy along with the cute hero image does the trick here. 

5. Event email templates that get more butts in seats 

Inviting your subscribers for an event or a webinar is a delicate art. You want to make sure they get all the info, but not too much to overwhelm – and be teased to attend at the same time.

Must haves on the event email Information side are: event time and date, venue, registration fees, topics, agenda and speakers.

Or you could go the complete other way, and focus on the benefits of attending the event and what they will learn from it.

Litmus nails their event invitations. Their event Litmus Live is well liked in the email marketing community. See how they have included every bit of information that would encourage the readers to register.

event email marketing template example

Once the user clicks through, the landing page. It shares more information about the event with an engaging copy and a video.

email marketing templates events

More email templates based on messages types

We just reviewed the most popular types of email marketing templates. But of course there is more. Use the following checklist to see which purposes you will also use your email templates: 

  • Welcome emails
  • Onboarding product, purchase or service
  • Curated Listings
  • Customer Appreciation (thank you’s!)
  • Transactional Messages and order confirmations
  • Loyalty emails, points and bonuses
  • Reviews
  • Follow Up email
  • Product Launches

That list is a good head start to begin your email template search journey!

6 Features To Consider When Picking Email Templates 

While working on the perfect email template(s), we want to identify the features with a great fit with your brand, brand language and objectives. That seems a bit vague maybe, but we’ll make it doable with the help of this “pick your template” checklist.

1. Keep the design of your email template visually appealing

Your subscribers will immediately notice the aesthetics of your email.

So we need to pick the right color palette that goes well with your brand colors. The colors have to complement the purpose of your email. The same goes for typography. We want it to instantly resonate with the reader. 

Rich media elements are also important. There are some stunning free email templates out there, but you can always decide to design a custom template to perfectly fit your needs.

Travelocity sends out a beautiful email to inspire wanderlust. The hero image and the copy fit perfectly with the purpose of the email. 

travelocity email template fonts designs

2. Be careful with special fonts and typefaces for your email templates

You can’t use every font for your email marketing campaigns. Using fonts in email templates is considered commercial redistribution. So, use licensed typefaces only. In case you are going for custom email fonts, give proper fallback to ensure good rendering. Some fonts go very well together, others not so much, so pairing different fonts.

The Independence Day email by The Vintage Pearl uses typeface and color contrast to draw the subscriber’s attention. And then prompt them to convert. They use a fancy cursive font as an image to avoid any rendering issues.  

email branding template example

3. Optimize the CTA buttons and number of outbound links

Don’t go overboard with the number of CTA’s, buttons and outbound links. Having too many links dilutes your email’s ability to generate conversions.

Some cases you just want one CTA, pointing to a single landing page.  Email Uplers sends a straightforward email with clearly visible CTAs. Clicking on either of them will redirect the reader to the same landing page. 

When we are talking about links, that also includes social sharing buttons, and everything in email template, the header, footer, etc. Consider making different variants for content vs conversion driven emails.

While designing the CTA button, make sure that you pick contrasting colors that stand out and draw the subscriber’s attention. 

By maintaining a consistent CTA design you can create an instant brand recall, like Udemy does. If people need to wonder what your main CTA is, the email isn’t ready yet! 

email template design CTA improve udemy

If you want to go a step further, you can get the creative juices flowing and try something out-of-the-box like Moo has. On hovering the cursor over the CTA, the text gets highlighted and increases the likelihood of conversions.  

Email template design CTA hover

4. Include interactivity in your email template design

Emails are slowly starting to catch up to web technology. But are they? Consider including interactive elements in your emails if you want to stand out from the crowd.

However, before selecting any such template, check its compatibility with the email clients.

5. 100% mobile responsive, templates must be

Every marketer has a big part of their subscribers open the email on the smartphone. So, mobile responsiveness is a must-have feature for your email templates.they need to look good on any device, including several phones, tablets and desktop. 

You can consider to follow a mobile-first approach while selecting the email templates. Single-column layout works the best for mobile-responsive emails.

This is how your template should render across different devices. 

email template design mobile responsoive

6. Make sure your email template is accessible

2.2 billion people in the world have some kind of visual impairment. 5% of the world population is color blind. So, make sure you pick an email template that has high accessibility.  And easy to read for all subscribers.

Picking the right email template for your business

Selecting the right email template can get a bit of a task. The easiest way to make the right choice is to understand how well they go with the buyer’s journey and the types of emails you will be sending. .

You can analyze the past campaigns to determine the email templates that your audience appreciates the most. Test and experiment with different tactics to bring freshness in your email templates. Don’t shy away from thinking out of the box sometimes, that’s the key to design winning email templates

Kevin George

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.